In 1981, I lost my dad to cancer. He died at home and I watched as my mum cared for him in his final days and the stress this caused her during an already difficult time. After this, I became passionate about easing the burden on families caring for a loved one at the end of their life. I applied for a role as an Enrolled Nurse at Overgate Hospice when the patients were still cared for in the old house.

I loved my time at the Hospice and was keen to further my experience and skills in palliative care, eventually attending a ‘Care of the Dying’ training course. As part of this course, I had to do a project to provide further support to terminally ill people in our community. I decided to research Day Care Services that had been started in other hospices across the country and I investigated how this could work at Overgate. The Hospice were incredibly interested in the work I had done and asked me to start a Day Hospice at Overgate.

Since then, Day Hospice has become an integral part of the care available at Overgate and I was proud to lead it through many changes, working alongside my fellow Sister, Teena. All of the team work together to improve the quality of life of their patients and it brings together people who are going through a similar, difficult experience. Seeing a group of patients sit together and talk, confiding in each other and offering support was so special – I was always overwhelmed by their bravery. 

In 2018, I retired from my role as Day Hospice Sister after 30 years at this wonderful place but continue to support the Hospice as a volunteer. I feel incredibly honoured and proud to have worked at Overgate and to have been a small part of the excellent care that is given to everyone who walks through the doors.

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